Re: My view of the Apple announcements

I Find Karma (
Thu, 7 Aug 97 21:27:59 PDT

> The Hall only reacted directly to two statements:
> - when Steve announced the new board, everyone cheered

This is really confusing to me. Jobs on board, sure.

But Apple has never been a fan of Ellison -- and I'm sure the buyout
rumor didn't sit well. Jerry York, formerly of IBM? I'm sure Apple
is bitter about PowerPC and Taligent... Intuit CEO Bill Campbell?
It's not like Intuit ever went out of their way to embrace Apple before.

So what is going on here? Could it be Apple is following Ernie's rules
of war: keep your enemies close?

> - when Steve announced Larry, everyone booed

No surprise. Larry Ellison, the luckiest man on earth. Bleah. 2/3 of
his money is made hiring out consultants to deal with the bugs in the
software his company produces. Feh. Feh.

> For the record, I am excited by the new board. It was interesting to
> have him pick the two most interesting software companies that are
> completely safe from Microsoft (CA and Novell aren't really interesting).

Nor are either of them safe. Novell in particular seems to be gasping
for air.

And I'm glad they didn't pick Netscape, who can't seem to do anything
right lately.

> The high point for me was the things he didn't say. For example, after
> announcing the MS deal (very well done, BTW), he said, "We need to stop
> thinking it is wrong if others succeed. If we do badly, it is our fault,
> not theirs."

In theory, this is nice. In practice, I want to know who paid him off.

> The statement "Apple + Microsoft = 100% of the desktop market, so
> we can set the standards" was a little chilling, but effectively true (I'd
> say 95%, actually, if you include all desktops; Bob says 92%).

One thing is clear from all of this. We must destroy the desktop before
it destroys all of us.

> Not only does it give our new CEO (and
> probably Chairman) room to make decisions when he comes, it gives the
> troops (and me in particular) room to flesh out what makes sense.

You don't think Jobs will step in as Chairman? You don't think this was
all perfectly choreographed since Amelio took office 18 months ago?

What kind of conspiracy theorist are you????

> And for the record, I think it is great that Steve is stressing Mac OS,
> and didn't even mention Rhapsody. I think we can do our job better if
> we're out of the limelight, and Apple will do better if people are focused
> on Mac OS 8. Don't worry, we won't disappear (even if I do :-)

I'm not convinced.

I think we've all been had. A lot of people made a lot of money in a
very short amount of time because of a few announcements. Something's
not right. Sure, Microsoft gets free R&D (plus a near monopoly on the
"Office" suite across the desktop), and Apple gets corporate
credibility, but it's all too pat.

Not that Microsoft had anything else they could have done with that $150
million; they already have so much cash on hand they have nothing better
to do than buy back millions of shares of their own stock.

But it's not enough. There's something deeper at play here. What is it?

I guess if you own every desktop, then you own the object model on which
those desktops are based. Which means that rather than CORBA or IIOP,
we'll be using ActiveX, OLE / DCOM, and HTTP / TCP. Instead of Java,
we'll be using Visual x++, where x in {J, C, Basic}. Instead of Java
Foundation Classes or Internet Foundation Classes, oh man. That's it.

This is a battle for standard control. He who controls the desktop can
pick and choose the standards. Some can be slurped right in --- this is
why Tim Byars says the W3C is like Microsoft's own little cheap $50grand
a year R&D department. Others can be reviewed and assimilated or tossed
as needed --- such as CORBA, IIOP, Java, and Beans.

Wow. Game over.

I mean, which component model would YOU choose? The one developed
by the company whose paw is in the tripe of every desktop in the
country? Or one developed by a consortium of companies, each at each
other's throats, none of whom are straightforwardly compatible across
computer architectures, operating systems, or programming languages?

> Ernest Prabhakar
> Rhapsody Product Marketing Manager (until Aug 15th)

Wait, where do you go in a week?

And in related news...

> __________Berst Alert____________________
> Now that Microsoft has shored up Apple with a $150M
> stock investment, the company has everything it needs
> for a turnaround. Except a *leader*. Since Microsoft
> has gone this far, why doesn't it just loan Apple
> a president? I nominate Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's
> rah-rah executive vice president and resident marketing
> wizard. Jump to the Web site for an inside look at
> Ballmer and his credentials.

Dear lord, Ballmer at Apple. Wouldn't that be a hoot? :)

> __________Special Report____________________
> The Microsoft-Apple alliance is great news for Apple
> employees, investors, software developers, Internet
> publishers and customers. And bad news for Netscape.

It was a bad omen for Netscape to have their IPO two years ago on the
day Cherry Garcia died.

> Oh yeah, it's also bad for Mac zealots, who have
> to find a new Satan. Full details, analysis and links
> at the Web site.

Why can't the new Satan still be the old Satan?

> __________A Few Choice Words____________________
> Emotions are red-hot over the Microsoft-Apple deal.
> AnchorDesk's forums hit the boiling point after yesterday's
> bombshell. Find out what Mac users (and Wintel "friends")
> *really* think about the news.

Gosh, we have nothing to believe in anymore. Whenever we insult
Microsoft now, we're insulting Apple by transitivity! Whenever we
complement Apple, Microsoft gets 10-20% of that complement!

Darn, who can I shoot?

Is this considered enough of a monopoly now for the Feds to step in and
shut down the whole kit and kaboodle?

Memo to Rohit: We *must* destroy the desktop computer. It's a moral

> __________Quick Poll____________________
> Cast your vote on the Microsoft-Apple alliance. Is
> it the perfect solution for Apple? Or a death knell
> for the Mac platform?

Who cares? Either way it's a tad depressing. The power structures that
be are feeding in on themselves just a little more. Sigh.


Coming soon to a mailing list near you: SPoRK, Spontaneous
Prognostications of Rohit Khare. All of the chaff and none of the wheat...